Randall Wolfe's walk in Portsmouth Herald
- My mom saw this in the Herald and was like "Hey, that guy is goin where
Ian is goin", hehehe
Kentucky man walking to New Hampshire to join the `free state'
By Kate McCann
CONCORD, N.H. -- The movement to bring thousands of people to New
Hampshire to change it into a "free state" with fewer laws and smaller
government is attracting all sorts, including a 20-year-old Kentucky man
who is walking here in search of a life free from marijuana prosecution.
Randall Wolfe of Corbin, Ky., calls himself a dedicated member of the Free
State Project. He drives to his job as a manager trainee at a local Taco
Bell with the project's Web site spray-painted on the hood of his 1997
Dodge Neon. The New Hampshire state motto, "Live Free or Die," is along
the side. He spends his spare time as a Kentucky recruiter for the
Wolfe figures New Hampshire, where project members hope they can grow in
numbers enough to influence legislation and policy, is his best shot for
marijuana reform. Wolfe began experimenting with the drug at the age of 10
and smoking regularly at 14. He has been arrested twice for possession.
The project, the brainchild of a Yale graduate student, chose New
Hampshire as its laboratory in nationwide balloting in October. Critics in
the chosen state have accused the group of wanting to turn it into a haven
for drug abuse, lax gambling laws, legal prostitution and gun
Project members dispute that depiction, though they don't deny they want
to eliminate "victimless crimes" such as prostitution and personal drug
Members have diverse motives and goals, ranging from promoting
home-schooling and school vouchers to fighting gun laws. The common thread
is that all value independent thinking, project spokesman James Maynard
"We've struggled long and hard for freedom where we were, with mixed
results. Then suddenly we found there were others thinking and acting for
the same goals we were," Maynard said. "Like any wise group, we have a
wide umbrella and allow people of different viewpoints to be heard and
work with us."
Marijuana advocates seem to have an affinity for free-staters, however.
The project was featured in the May-June edition of "High Times" magazine
and supports NORML, a group working to decriminalize marijuana.
All of which is Wolfe's motivation for walking more than 1,000 miles to
what could be his new home.
To prepare for his journey, he walks about an hour a day and has tried to
cut back on cigarettes.
He plans to leave Corbin on Friday with the $300 he saved up, a week's
worth of clothes and a new pair of Nikes. Project members are sending him
donations for expenses, he said, and have offered him a place to stay when
In New Hampshire, possession of any amount of marijuana is punishable by
up to one year in jail. Wolfe said he accepts that he might never live to
see marijuana legalized.
"If it takes the rest of my life, it takes the rest of my life," he said.
"If it doesn't help me out, it might help the next generation."
His exact plan to lobby for marijuana legalization is vague, but he said
he intends to use his time in New Hampshire "voting for the right people"
and looking for guidance from Free State leaders in New Hampshire.
Around 30 families have moved to New Hampshire since October, joining the
230 project members already living here. Maynard said he expects 300
families to move in this summer.
Wolfe is timing his walk to arrive for next month's Porcupine Festival in
Lancaster. Organizers hope the June 21-27 gathering will be the project's
Wolfe has taken a month's leave from Taco Bell.
"I pretty much told them, if they didn't hear from me in 30 days, I was
either dead or not coming back," he said
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"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin, 1759.
"Lighting the fires of Liberty, one heart at a time!"
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